A true early-'70s pop/rock classic, "Delta Lady" is probably more well known than Joe Cocker's hit version, as well as his remarkable, extended version on the Mad Dogs & Englishmen album. However, Leon Russell's own excellent version is a great blueprint, combining rock, soul, and a strong gospel energy. A virtual mini-suite, the song contains not only a strong pop verse and powerful rock/gospel chorus, but also a gorgeous, classically inspired bridge. The subject matter of the song is said to be inspired by Rita Coolidge, who was a member of the Mad Dogs vocal chorus. She also inspired several Graham Nash, Kris Kristofferson, and Stephen Stills songs of the period as well, making her one of the heavier artistic muses of the early '70s.